Exactly one week from today is Winter Solstice, the first day of winter!! Last year, I threw a celebration for it which was filled with tapas, candles and festivities including WREATH MAKING. Well, this year, I thought about making wreaths again… but this time, they’re edible 🙂 This salty-sweet-fresh appetizer is as delicious as it is lovely and it’s perfect for the holiday season. Starting with my favorite – roasted acorn squash, topped with a kale-almond relish, drizzled with a maple-tahini sauce and topped off with pomegranate and hemp seeds. SO GOOD and SO FUN to make.
Did you know wreaths have been around since the Greco-Roman empire? First, to wear (think of the Olympic games)… symbolizing status and accomplishment, then it snowballed into more of a decoration to symbolize overcoming the harsh winter and then that brings us to the Christmas wreath which symbolizes immortality. They’re not just for the winter or for Christmas, but year-around using seasonal plants and greenery. Well these wreaths are seasonal too, obvi! Winter squash, kale and pomegranates. And while I wouldn’t wear it on my head or hang it on my door… placing a slab of them makes for a gorgeous table decoration at your next dinner party. We eat with our eyes first after all 🙂
I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season with gatherings filled with loved ones and lots of healthy food! XO
Prep Time: 10 minutes mins
Cook Time: 30 minutes mins
Total Time: 40 minutes mins
- 1 acorn squash
- 1 tsp olive oil
- salt pepper to taste
- 2 leaves curly kale
- 1/3 cup raw almonds
- juice of 1 lemon
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
- optional: sprinkle of hemp seeds
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp tahini
- 2 tbsp water
Pre-heat oven to 400f degrees.
Prep a baking sheet with un-bleached parchment paper.
Slice acorn squash into circles by first halving the squash and then CAREFULLY chopping into circles as best you can (be patient). I suggest using a chef’s knife for larger cuts, and keeping a paring knife handy in case you need something smaller. You can also just cut them into crescent moon shapes and piece together when serving.
Add slices to a large plastic freezer bag and add the tsp of olive oil, toss around to coat the squash and lay out on the parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste over top and roast for 25-30 minutes until well cooked but not overly brown.
While they cool, make the kale-almond topping by combining all ingredients into a food processor except the pomegranate seeds. Pulse until chunky but well combined like a relish or pesto.
Once squash is cool enough to handle, place on the tray you’ll be serving on (I used the same baking sheet without parchment paper). Then, using a regular teaspoon, you can spoon out the kale and using your fingers shape it onto half of the squash pieces making “wreaths”.
Next, combine ingredients for the maple-tahini drizzle until very smooth (use more/less water depending on how it’s coming together, my tahini was very thick so I needed the water to make it more fluid).
Drizzle maple-tahini sauce over tops of the wreaths and then sprinkle pomegranates and hemp seeds! Aren’t they pretty?? Serve and enjoy!
join the conversation
These are absolutely beautiful! What a fun way to celebrate winter. And I love the savory approach vs. sweet wreaths. We’ll happily gobble these up after!
OMG! How adorable and festive are these?! I love it. I can’t wait to give it a try!
These squash wreaths are amazing! Love the creativity.
So cute!! Love how these came out! Can’t wait to take them for Thanksgiving.
What a fun recipe, I am definitely making it next week
I am gushing over these. Your account is perfect girl ! Im blog crushing over here !!
You’re too sweet, Erin – thank you so much!! I hope you try these babies… they’re fun to make AND eat 🙂 Happy Holidays!! XO
this is the very best squash idea i have seen yet. incredibly beautiful! you know i will be making these soon. and i love how you talked about the history of wreaths! we should do a tutorial on floral wreath crowns. wouldn’t that be pretty?
That means a lot coming from the Squash Queen herself!! <3 Thanks, girl. I think you will love them, they’re so delicious and beautiful. You’re so cute – I actually semi-did that for last year’s winter solstice, check it out: http://foodbymars.com//home/2014/a-winter-solstice-celebration
We should so do an amped up version with a real tutorial – great idea 🙂
So these are genius! Festive and perfect for the holidays! I just discovered you from Buzzfeed, and I am loving your site. Keep up the awesome work! I’m thinking about making your Brussels and Lentils for dinner tonight. Look too comforting to pass up on this chilly fall evening.
Thank You, Emily!! I’m so excited about these + they’re delicious 🙂 So happy you stopped by and I hope you LOVE the Brussels and Lentils.. definitely comforting.